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Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection) (1955)

Michel Bouquet , Reinhard Heydrich , Alain Resnais  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Julius Streicher
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 32 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000093NQZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,561 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New transfer with restored image and sound and improved subtitle translation
  • Excerpt from an audio interview with director Alain Resnais
  • Optional music only track
  • New essay by Phillip Lopate
  • Essay about composer Hanns Eisler
  • Crew profiles

Editorial Reviews

Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard) contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps' quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage. With Night and Fog, Resnais investigates the cyclical nature of man's violence toward man and presents the unsettling suggestion that such horrors could come again.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
245 of 251 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pure Distillation of the Images of the Holocaust July 26, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw "Night and Fog" in a 16mm format when I was a senior in high school in 1970. So powerful and devastating was the imagery of this extraordinary short documentary, that it took me another 30 years to be able to watch other films on the Holocaust, such as "Schindler's List." When I saw "Night and Fog," I said to myself, "No other film needs to be made about the Holocaust. This is the definitive film." The stark, black and white images are devastating and powerful. In reading about the availability the film on video, I was astonished to see that the film had been made in 1955, so soon after the war. In the ensuing 45 years, it has lost none of its potency. For me, this is still the film that set the standard for all subsequent work on the Holocaust. Resnais' treatment of this subject will still burn the images right onto your retina.
I have since seen other films depicting the Holocaust, including "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful," both of which were excellent. But "Night and Fog" is still the one work that will shake you to your marrow. I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in the late 70's, and the emotional experience was identical to and of the same wrenching caliber as watching "Night and Fog."
Truth is truth. We need to look at it, even when it would be more comfortable to turn away. Thank God someone like Resnais had the courage to tell the truth of the Holocaust in a ruthless and inescapable way that holds us all accountable. "Night and Fog" should give us all the courage to call evil by its name out loud when we see it, and to stand together to stop it.
This should be required viewing for everyone.
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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindshattering, somber, disturbing October 19, 2000
By jaglom
Format:VHS Tape
I can't quite explain the intensity and the power this film contains.
We talk about the Holocaust, we hear 6 million jews died, 12 million total, we may even see a film like Life is Beautiful, which scratches the surface to what went on inside the camps.
But nothing can prepare you for the sheer mindshattering power of this film.
It is a brief, stark film, shot in black and white and goes on for only a halfhour.
But instead of adding dramatic flourishes, or light intonations, it simply shows images of the horror that was the Holocaust. A musical score flows throughout the background as you are hit with an assault of image after image of what went on behind the camp gates.
You can watch the goriest film with practices 100x as bizarre, but they wont disturb you nearly as much as seeing an entire storeroom filled with hair cut off from the victims of this atrocity or pictures of human beings that stand there as mere skeletons.
The narrator shows incredible constraint in his tone and his line of comments. He simply provides a framework for the images and probes the viewer, "Why did this happen? How could we allow this to go on?"
Not for young children.
It stays with you. If it doesn't disturb you, if it doesn't deeply affect you, you may have to question the depth of your humanity.
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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror brought Home August 7, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
They showed us 'Night and Fog' in school. I was 13. It hit me like a bag of bricks then as it does now. It's one thing to read a schoolbook that says there were 'atrocities'. It is quite another to see piles of hair, gold teeth, wedding rings, shoes piled high and to realize all their owners were already dead. Seeing for the first time the reality of hunger on a human being, seeing piled bodies. I had nightmares then, and I have them now. Several students left, sickened. We were all stunned....they had to send us all home. For about a week we just could not function in the, what we now realized, lavish American lifestyle. We never felt safe again. We had seen hell. I believe the librarian was fired for showing us this film at such a young age. I am 32 now, and it has never left me, this film...and its horrors.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting + Disturbing = Accurate January 6, 2006
Format:DVD
I am an educator who, as part of a state-mandated curriculum, instructs high school sophomores in literary unit surrounding Elie Wiesel's Night. Often, the students have "knowledge" of the concentration and labor camps and for some, a bit of previous education in the history surrounding WWII and specifically, the Holocaust. But the biggest struggle I faced in leading this unit was not in the comprehension of the details, but in their ability to truly understand, to feel what must be felt when the topic is to be examined through Wiesel's eyes.

I can tell my students of a car accident, I can describe a car accident to them. Some may have even seen one in real life. But only those who have been IN one can truly relay an account of its impact, and even then, those people stand somewhat alone in the magnitude of their own account.

This film, born in 1955, ensures that anyone who speaks of the Holocaust will not stand alone in his or her experience. I do not censor the film; its beauty is in its 31-minute glory.

The camps WERE disgusting. They WERE disturbing. And what makes this film worthy of those two words is that it shows the camps in a light true to their existance. Unlike many accounts (and yes, even the "great" ones like Schindler's List) is that they often leave people feeling reactions toward only the story told. This film does not tell a story; it gives no promise of imparting a neatly packaged historic explination of events. It examines nothing; but it shows everything.

This film is vision. And viewers leave with the kind of knowledge obtained when a person experiences something firsthand. It doesn't teach fact, it conveys feeling. It envokes reaction, sometimes violent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a true documentary
I watched this for the first time in my history class but the teacher blacked the screen on the parts where they showed graphic scenes. Read more
Published 5 hours ago by Bridget Felix
5.0 out of 5 stars a somber reminder
Having had a father who fought in WW2 at D day and my mother who lived through it in France, along with losing my grandparents and aunt to the nazis, I have heard the stories and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Colette Black
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I saw this film many yrs ago in a graduate class, remembered it ever since, & wanted to see it again. Read more
Published 4 days ago by taug
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding historical perspective
Saw this many years ago in 16mm. Was thrilled that it is available. Used it with my classes to introduce Wiesel's Night. Class sat in total silence as the film proceeded. Read more
Published 1 month ago by irishthroughandthrough
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts
Very moving and at times disturbing movie. Should be required viewing for any high school history class. Give it to them straight...
Published 2 months ago by J. E. Booker
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving
Very bold and insightful look into the horrors that occurred during WWII. Disturbing but I feel required perspective of truth
Published 2 months ago by Tracy Dankanich
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking
Poignant but shocking look at the Holocaust. Holocaust deniers should be strapped down and forced to watch this in all its horrific detail.
Published 2 months ago by WWJAD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great documentary! My teacher didn't have an Amazon account so I rented this for my History class and it was 100% worth it. It got to the point and didn't leave anything hanging.
Published 5 months ago by Elijah Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses into a hell on earth
Night and Fog is one of the first films to blend raw footage with narration and music to represent the atrocity of the Nazi death camps and processes by which extermination was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Oliver Conant
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay Holocaust short film
This short film showed directly what happened in the Holocaust without sugar-coating on it. It was straightforward that i liked it, but there were some scenes that were somewhat... Read more
Published 5 months ago by IamJ
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